07 September 2005

Bullets sent to home

Daily Ireland

Connla Young

A Protestant man has had two bullets delivered to his home after helping a Catholic neighbour at the centre of a sectarian campaign of intimidation in Co Antrim.
It is understood the Protestant man received the bullets after foiling a petrol bomb attack on the home of Catholic woman Kathleen McCaughey who was forced to flee her Ahoghill home by loyalists in July.
Speaking to Daily Ireland last night, Mrs McCaughey confirmed that her neighbour was determined to leave the area after the incident, which was not reported to the PSNI.
“I received no help from the UUP or DUP or anyone living near me except for this man and this is how he has been treated. People around me were warned not to help.”
News of the threat comes as the erection of sectarian posters in a Co Antrim town threatening Catholic residents has been compared to the actions of the Ku Klux Klan in the US.
The posters, which appeared throughout the village of Ahoghill, near Ballymena, last weekend, threatened to put an “end to republican, nationalist and Roman influences within our community”.
Tension among Catholic residents living in the loyalist town is rising ahead of a 30-band loyalist parade scheduled to take place tonight.
In the past two months, three Catholic families have been forced to flee Ahoghill after their homes were targeted in paint and petrol bomb attacks.
The poster, which carries the heading ‘statement by the loyalist people of Ahoghill’, accuses the British government of pandering to “republican demands” and says: “The time has come to end all capitulation and raise awareness of the imbalance shown to republican groups”.
Sinn Féin MLA for north Antrim Philip McGuigan described the development as “sinister”.
He said: “It is a statement one would imagine coming from the likes of the Ku Klux Klan.
“It is completely unacceptable that the perpetrators of the ethnic cleansing of Ahoghill should attempt to find excuses for themselves and their actions.
“One wonders how many people living in Ahoghill agree with the sentiments in the posters.”
Since the beginning of July there have been several dozen attacks on Catholic owned properties in the wider Ballymena area.
In total, five Catholic churches and a number of schools have been targeted by paint and fire bombers.
Last week the PSNI was forced to mount an armed guard at the gates of several Catholic churches and schools in the area over heightened fears of loyalist attack.
The recently erected loyalist posters are being seen by many as an attempt to intimidate the remaining few Catholics left in the staunchly loyalist village.
The poster also refers to a recent dissident republican statement threatening action unless the attacks on Catholic homes are halted. In a sinister turn the poster warns: “They would need to consider the consequences for all outlying areas if as much as one family in Ahoghill is targeted by these renegades. We will defend our culture in Ahoghill no matter what cost this incurs and reserve the right to be proactive in doing so.”
DUP Ballymena councillor Roy Gillespie, who lives close to Ahoghill, says he hasn’t seen the poster.
“I’ll wait until I have seen it before I comment but I will say this, I would not do unto others as I would not have done unto myself - I would treat other people as I would like to be treated.”
The poster threat comes after unionist politicians threw out a Sinn Féin motion condemning recent violence in the Ballymena area and calling for a council-sponsored forum to be set up in a bid to tackle the scourge of sectarianism in the borough.
A spokesperson for the PSNI said it had not received any reports about the posters.

That's typical of these fascists. I suspect strongly it is from Unionist paramilitaries. I live in Dublin and I feel sick at what's happening to my fellow country men and women up north.
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